To Show: apropos of Marcel Duchamp’s Étant donnés: 1° La chute d’eau, 2° Le gaz d’éclairage

Sammanfattning: Aims: To study aspects of Marcel Duchamp’s posthumous permanent installation 'Étant donnés: 1° La chute d’eau, 2° Le gaz d’éclairage…' ('Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas...'). To investigate and show methods in the making as well as in the interpretation of Duchamp’s work. To perform and document minor actions as reflections on (and of) the study. To investigate relations between reading and writing texts on the one hand and making, showing, and reproducing artifacts on the other. To acknowledge the object of study not only as the thematic content of the research but to let it influence the methodology by which the study is made. Methods: Associations by names and naming, parallel reading across two languages, exaggerated calculations, and attention to small and perhaps overlooked details were among the methods used. Studies of selected texts about 'Étant donnés' were done experimentally as comments mainly written while reading the text. Results: An archive box containing a compilation of booklets with texts with pictures, pictures only, and pictures with texts. There are at least three or four details which may add to the understanding of Duchamp’s work: 1) a hidden geometry of the space framing the nude in 'Étant donnés' 2) a rebus in a sketch of a nude 3) the nude skin in a Pygmalionesque context 4) the momentary geometry of a rendezvous as well as a game... Conclusions: In Duchamp’s art, specific methods can probably be seen as generative, but both the generative process for making art and the interpretative efforts are regarded as important. Studies of Duchamp’s work can contribute to the understanding of how to perform research by art. Here, an effort to experiment with a wider range of methods for how to study Duchamp’s work in an academic context is shown. For to allow a continuous interplay with an object of study, it is suggested that a multitude of more or less provisional methods and genres of results is valuable. The very term 'conclusion' is derived from Latin 'concludere' (to shut up, enclose) from the prefix 'com-' (or 'cum-') usually meaning 'with' and 'together' and 'cludere' 'to shut'. In this study, Duchamp's work 'Étant donnés' is treated as an endpoint–a closure–and a conclusive construction rather than inceptive and therefore as being related to the history of art and culture rather than contemporary art. It is also interpreted as an expansion of the material used in classic art. By the choice of material Duchamp might still be controversial by using a hide–real skin–for constructing a nude figure.

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